Naturals go through many phases, especially when we decide to make the transition in college.  I decided to cut off all my relaxed ends during at the start of my Junior year of college. Needless to say, during undergrad I was often busy, stressed, and broke which aren’t exactly the best ingredients for getting to know your hair.  Although I could not dedicate a lot of time to taking care of my hair, I made my way and figured out the basics to take me through the next two years of college.

(photo credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/529032287450014320/)

Finally, a few weeks ago the joyous occasion of graduation came and went and I have been taking full advantage of the exciting time that is post grad life. Oddly enough, I found that graduation wasn’t just a time of change for me academically and career wise, but it was also a change for my hair.  There were a lot of new and awesome things that came with graduation season, and post grad life and I’ve decided to share a few with you.

1. Styling your hair under your graduation cap

Fitting natural kinks and curls under a graduation cap can be a daunting task. My natural friends and I searched Pinterest and blogs for weeks trying to figure out how we were going to accomplish it.  My afro couldn’t possibly fit, a twist out seemed too casual, and regardless of the style I knew I would need a wealth of hair pins to make sure my cap didn’t go flying off when I went walking across the stage. In the end I decided to get Marley Twists to have a cute carefree summer style that was grad cap approved.  When it comes to graduation season, you want to feel comfortable and attractive while celebrating, so be mindful and do your research to find a style that you, your hair, and your grad cap can agree on.

2. More time to experiment

Now that I’m a graduate I spend a good chunk of time looking for styles and products to try out on my hair. I’m exploring cute, but funky hairstyle options that work when I’m out with friends or interviewing for jobs. Now that I’m no longer worried about assignments and organization meetings, I can actually have a lot more fun with my hair and it’s been great so far. I straightened my hair for the first time a few weeks ago, and now I have decided to try out various protective styles all summer. These summer months will be full of DIY crochet braids and Solange-esque box braids, and I may even try my hand at coloring my hair.  Curly graduates are no longer restrained to the finicky schedule that being a student can bring, so do not be afraid to try new things!

3. Creating a hair regimen

One thing I’ve never had the time to do since I’ve went natural is create a manageable hair regimen that is both low cost and effective. I big chopped at the start of my junior year and felt so awkward about my new look that I strategically avoided classes for two days. It took my First Lady, Michelle Obama, coming to speak on my campus for me to suck it up, put on a hat and venture to campus. After that my life got busy and I could barely do the basics of twisting at night and moisturizing, let alone trimming and this thing they called “sealing my ends”.  Soon after lack of proper moisturizing and trimming took a toll on my hair. The one-strand knots got out of control and I suffered some severe breakage. Post grad life has allowed me more time to test out tools and products that are good for my hair, as well as diligently practice length retention methods.  I have found that I have low porosity hair that needs a lot of moisture and conditioning, plus my Tangle Teezer has been my best friend. I have been keeping track of what works and what doesn’t, and taking advice from all the natural hair guru’s on social media. So far so good!

I’m quickly realizing that for me, life after college is going to be a whirlwind of ups, downs, and adventures. I’m changing and I’m glad my hair and habits are morphing with me. It’s exciting times, people, and I’m embracing it in all its forms. I hope all you other curly graduates are doing the same and having fun with your hair.